Prospect Research · Artifical Intelligence · Ask the Ethicist
Ask the Ethicist: Is It Too Soon to Integrate AI Automation?
I’ve been reading so many articles about ChatGPT and other generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools. Their ability to decrease repetitive tasks is appealing, and I think it would be great to use ChatGPT to write all of event bios needed for alumni weekend.
My team has some concerns about this idea — is the use of ChatGPT ethical for prospect development?
Dreaming of an Automated Future
Content generation is a great feature of ChatGPT, but there are concerns for the use of this tool in prospect development.
Some argue the information pulled into generative AI tools is covered under the Fair Use Index, which permits the unlicensed use of copyright-protected work for noncommercial, nonprofit purposes. But not everyone agrees with that concept, and some authors have recently sued Open AI — the company that created ChatGPT — claiming the tool unlawfully consumed their copyrighted work.
Using a large and diverse curated dataset, ChatGPT learns from a wide range of information. If you ask ChatGPT to write a bio for someone, some of the primary sources it uses include Wikipedia, social media posts and blogs. To be good stewards of our data, these sources require verification as there is a legitimate risk of information being fabricated or biased.
If your team decides to use ChatGPT to write bios, there are a few steps to take to make sure this project is aligned with your organization’s ethical guidelines:
- Be transparent that you are using AI to write bios — you may want to add a source note on any bios written using ChatGPT or another tool.
- Check with your legal and data security teams to confirm the use of an AI tool is allowed by your organization.
- Verify the data in the bio before circulating.
Does time saved by using ChatGPT outweigh the amount of time needed for verification? As mentioned in the Ask the Ethicist column from July 2022, “Ask the Ethicist: What's the Harm in Using AI?”: “Having a base understanding of AI will allow your organization to understand the ethical concerns and make the right decisions.”
P.S. If you’d like to anonymously ask the Ethics and Compliance Committee (ECC) a question, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.